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NEBRASKA CATTLEMEN ENDORSES NCTA'S NEW 100-COW PROGRAM

(September 4, 2007) LINCOLN, NE – The Nebraska Cattlemen Board of Directors has endorsed Nebraska College of Technical Agriculture's new 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage program.

The unique program starts with NCTA's degree program in beef cattle management, which includes the development of a business plan. Each student's plan, just prior to graduation, will be presented to USDA's Farm Service Administration and the Nebraska Department of Agriculture for funding of the 100-cow herd. In addition to the degree program, students and their parents, employers and landowners will be required to attend a series of seminars to fine tune the individual student business plans to make them function in the environment in which the graduate will be working. The 100 cows is an arbitrary number but very feasible within the FSA and NDA financial guidelines.

The key to the program is to have NCTA graduates return to rural Nebraska with a large enough asset that they will be a partner in an agricultural enterprise.

“Nebraska Cattlemen has been a long-time NCTA supporter and through its Foundation has provided scholarship assistance to NCTA students,” said NC President Jay Wolf. “NC endorses the 100 Beef Cow Ownership Advantage and commends NCTA for implementing another program with such vision.”

Located squarely in cattle country, the faculty at Curtis teaches entrepreneurship principles across its entire curriculum. Instead of just preparing its students for positions in Nebraska agriculture, its faculty is now preparing NCTA students to develop small businesses to take home to rural Nebraska. This is important since 40 percent of rural Nebraska communities now maintain a population of 300 or less residents.

“Dr. (Weldon) Sleight, Dean of NCTA, has identified a real need - how to help beginning ranchers,” Wolf said. “Then he developed an innovative program that actually does something concrete. I expect this program will be a national model and it is great to see it begin here, in Nebraska ranch country.”

More information about the program is available from Larry Cooper, NCTA assistant admissions counselor, at 800-328-7847, extension 254, or 308-367-6336 or via email at lcooper5@unl.edu.

The Nebraska Cattlemen association serves as the representative for the state's beef cattle industry and represents professional cattle breeders, ranchers and feeders, as well as 48 county and local cattlemen's associations. Its headquarters are in Lincoln and second office in Alliance serves cattlemen in western Nebraska.

This and other Nebraska Cattlemen information is available at www.nebraskacattlemen.org.

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